Time saving tips for the busy teacher

Looking forward to my teacher training year, I am painfully aware that it is going to be extremely full on and that to survive, I shall have to be as organised as possible. My mission is to find as many useful time saving tips as possible to make the best use of my limited time. I have thought of a few, which I’m going to list here. I would love to hear suggestions from other teachers, particularly those juggling work and family.

  1. Get a slow cooker. Assemble ingredients in the evening and either cook overnight or leave in fridge and pop into cooker in the morning. Thank you @Nevina_and_Thom for the tip about Googling ‘dump bags’ for slow cooker recipes you prepare ahead of time and dump in a freezer bag.
  2. Batch cook triple quantities of bolognese sauce at weekend and freeze two containers. My 5-veg bolognese recipe for the fussy eater is here.
  3. Outsource some laundry at laundrapp.com. This is a bit of an extravagance and I know not everyone can afford this, but it is a Godsend if you can. The laundrapp driver collects the laundry from your home and it is usually delivered to your doorstep within 24 hours. This is a Londoncentric service – I don’t know what’s available in other parts of the country. I use it every 2 weeks or so, mainly for cleaning bedsheets, which are such a hassle to do (especially if you have superkingsize). They come back beautifully pressed and folded. I also use the iron only service, which irons shirts and tops which you have washed at home. Also useful for dry-cleaning my other half’s work suits.
  4. Use a programmable coffee machine. Put the ground coffee in the filter in the evening, fill with water and put on the timer. Come down in the morning to the smell of freshly made coffee (I like). I don’t have time to drink it at home, so I pour it into a travel mug and drink it on my drive to work – using common sense of course, only when stopped at a traffic light.
  5. Use an overnight oats mug to make your breakfast on the go. In the evening, add oats, milk & other ingredients (there’s two handy recipes on the mug itself) and leave in the fridge overnight. All you have to do in the morning is add some freshly sliced bananas and/or berries.
  6. Plan meals for the week ahead every weekend (am not always good at doing this) but have something quick and easy in the freezer for emergencies (I always try to have a stock of frozen breaded chicken mini fillets and pasta sauce).
  7. If all else fails, back up plan is pasta with tuna and mayonnaise, with some quickly added frozen sweetcorn/peas.
  8. Use flushable toilet cleaning wipes (Sainsburys do some good ones) to give a quick clean every morning and keep on top of bathroom hygiene.
  9. Bribe kid with pocket money to empty dishwasher. My going rate is 50p for emptying (putting everything away in correct place or else I deduct money) or £1 for emptying and filling up with dirty dishes. This only works, mind, when there is something in particular he wants to purchase. Inflationary pressures plus supply and demand have meant this is the cheapest price I have been able to negotiate.
  10. Smile, keep calm and carry on.

Please help me add to this list. Your time saving suggestions and recipes are very very welcome. Email me on admin@historylover.uk or send me a tweet (@mw_history).